Tag Archives: Kenyan

Kenyan finance minister arrested on corruption charges over mega dam project

Kenyan finance minister arrested on corruption charges over mega dam projectKenya's Finance Minister Henry Rotich and other treasury officials were arrested on Monday on corruption and fraud charges over a multi-million dollar project to build two mega dams, police said. Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had ordered the arrest and prosecution of Rotich and 27 other top officials on charges of fraud, abuse of office and financial misconduct in the latest scandal to rock graft-wracked Kenya. Mr Rotich, his principal secretary and the chief executive of Kenya's environmental authority then presented themselves to the police. Mr Haji claimed the conception, procurement and payment processes for the dam project – part of a bid to improve water supply in the drought-prone country – was "riddled with irregularities". The arrests are part of a drive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to combat corruption in the poverty-plagued country, which has seen hundreds of millions of dollars disappear due to fraud.  A string of top officials have been charged since last year, when a damning report from the auditor general showed that the government could not account for $ 400 million (£321m) in public funds.  But it is unprecedented for a sitting minister to be arrested for corruption.  Detailing the charges, the chief prosecutor pointed to the awarding of the contract to Italian firm CMC di Ravenna in a manner that he said flouted proper procurement procedures, and despite financial woes that forced the company into liquidation and had led to it failing complete three other mega-dam projects. According to the contract, the project was to cost a total of $ 450 million (£361m), but the treasury had increased this amount by $ 164 million "without regard to performance or works," said Mr Haji. Some $ 180 million has already been paid out, with little construction to show for it, while a further $ 6 million was supposedly spent on resettlement but without the acquisition of any land. "Under the guise of carrying out legitimate commercial transactions, colossal amounts were unjustifiably and illegally paid out through a well-choreographed scheme by government officers in collusion with private individuals and institutions, Mr Haji said.  Mr Rotich has previously denied any wrongdoing, as has CMC di Ravenna.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Kenyan finance minister arrested on graft charges

Kenyan finance minister arrested on graft chargesKenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich was arrested on Monday on suspicion of financial misconduct related to the construction of two dams, an unprecedented detention of a sitting minister for corruption in a country notorious for graft. Rotich denied any wrongdoing in a large newspaper advertisement in March. Rotich and his co-accused face eight charges, ranging from conspiring to defraud and financial misconduct, Noordin Haji, the director of public prosecutions, said.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Kenyan president says Nairobi attack over as 'terrorists' killed

Kenyan president says Nairobi attack over as 'terrorists' killedKenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Wednesday that gunmen who stormed an upmarket hotel complex, killing 14 people, had been “eliminated” after an almost 20-hour siege in which hundreds of civilians were rescued. The attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali group Al-Shabaab, which has repeatedly targeted Kenya since it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the jihadist group. At least one suicide bomber blew himself up and gunmen engaged security forces in numerous shootouts during the assault on the DusitD2 compound, which includes a 101-room hotel, spa, restaurant and office buildings.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

10 killed in Kenyan plane crash

10 killed in Kenyan plane crashAll 10 passengers aboard a small plane, whose wreckage was discovered in central Kenya two days after it went missing, died in the accident, the airline and government said Thursday. The families of the passengers and the crew have been notified and as a ministry, we truly regret this very sad outcome and send out our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” said Paul Maringa, principal secretary of the transport ministry. A surveillance helicopter spotted the wreckage of the Cessna plane belonging to the FlySAX airline near the town of Njabini on the edge of the Aberdares mountain range early Thursday morning.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Kenyan rose-farm dam bursts, 'sea of water' kills 47

Kenyan rose-farm dam bursts, 'sea of water' kills 47By Thomas Mukoya SOLAI, Kenya (Reuters) – A dam on a commercial flower farm in Kenya’s Rift Valley burst after weeks of torrential rain, unleashing a “sea of water” that careered down a hillside and smashed into two villages, killing at least 47 people. The walls of the reservoir, on top of a hill in Nakuru county, 190 km (120 miles) northwest of Nairobi, gave way late on Wednesday as nearby residents were sitting down to evening meals. Kenya is one of the largest suppliers of cut flowers to Europe, and roses from the 3,500-acre Solai farm are exported to the Netherlands and Germany, according to Optimal Connection, its Netherlands-based handling agent.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Kenyan rose-farm dam bursts, "sea of water" kills 47

Kenyan rose-farm dam bursts, "sea of water" kills 47By Thomas Mukoya SOLAI, Kenya (Reuters) – A dam on a commercial flower farm in Kenya’s Rift Valley burst after weeks of torrential rain, unleashing a “sea of water” that careered down a hillside and smashed into two villages, killing at least 47 people. The walls of the reservoir, on top of a hill in Nakuru county, 190 km (120 miles) northwest of Nairobi, gave way late on Wednesday as nearby residents were sitting down to evening meals. Kenya is one of the largest suppliers of cut flowers to Europe, and roses from the 3,500-acre Solai farm are exported to the Netherlands and Germany, according to Optimal Connection, its Netherlands-based handling agent.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Kenyan opposition leader 'sworn in' as event called treason

Kenyan opposition leader 'sworn in' as event called treasonNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — In a ceremony that Kenya's government warned would be treason, opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday was sworn in as "the people's president" during a mock inauguration protesting President Uhuru Kenyatta's new term after months of deadly election turmoil.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Hundreds of Kenyan opposition supporters gather for "swearing in" of leader

Hundreds of Kenyan opposition supporters gather for "swearing in" of leaderSeveral hundred supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga gathered on Tuesday morning at a park in downtown Nairobi, determined to “swear in as president” their leader who boycotted a re-run election last year. President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term in November after winning the repeat presidential election in October that Odinga boycotted due to doubts it would be free and fair. Kenyatta had also been declared winner of the August election, but the Supreme Court later nullified that result, over irregularities.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Protests erupt after Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner of disputed elections with 98 per cent of votes

Protests erupt after Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner of disputed elections with 98 per cent of votesRenewed protests erupted in parts of Kenya on Monday night after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared president of a bitterly divided nation for the second time in three months. Claiming a resounding mandate to serve a second five-year term, Mr Kenyatta accepted victory after securing 98 per cent of the vote in an election boycotted by his rival Raila Odinga. But with just 38.8 per cent of voters choosing to participate in the election, Mr Kenyatta faces a struggle to assert his authority and legitimacy over a fractured country increasingly polarised on ethnic lines. Dozens of people have been killed in electoral violence over the past three months and, even as government supporters held muted celebrations, rioting broke out in Nairobi’s slums, while protesters also gathered in Mr Odinga’s strongholds in western Kenya. The president also knows from experience that being declared winner of an election does not guarantee assuming office. His victory in August was overturned by the supreme court, which found “illegalities and irregularities” in the way the vote was counted. A protester hurls a stone at the police during a standoff between Kenyan police and supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Credit: FREDRIK LERNERYD/ AFP A new challenge seems highly likely, given that the constitution requires a presidential election to be held in all 290 of Kenya’s constituencies. Voting was abandoned in 25 western counties without a ballot being cast after security forces clashed with opposition supporters trying to prevent polling stations opening. Given Mr Odinga’s refusal to participate in the court-ordered rerun, claiming that a failure to enact reforms meant the second election would be no fairer than the first, the president’s victory looks more likely to worsen Kenya’s political crisis than resolve it. Mr Odinga, who has promised to lead a peaceful campaign of civil disobedience and national resistance, is expected to speak to his supporters on Tuesday. Raila Odinga addressing thousands of his supporters as he drives through Kawangware slum after attending a church service in Nairobi, Kenya Credit: DANIEL IRUNGU/ EPA Western diplomats, church leaders and human rights activists have warned that Kenya, which witnessed more than 1,300 deaths after a disputed election in 2007, risks sustained violence unless the president and his rival negotiate a way out of the impasse.  Rory Stewart, the Africa minister, yesterday called for “transparent national dialogue”, saying he was “deeply concerned by outbreaks of ethnic and political violence”. President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers his speech after being declared by Kenya's election commission Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Credit: DANIEL IRUNGU/EPA President Kenyatta’s acceptance speech was, however, notably light on conciliatory language, saying he would only countenance talks with Mr Odinga once any legal challenges to his victory had been addressed. Instead, the president excoriated his rival for refusing to participate in an election he had gone to court to secure. “You cannot choose for the opportunity to exercise a right and thereafter abscond from the consequences of that choice,” Mr Kenyatta said.  



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Kenyan election official quits, saying re-run election will not be 'credible' 

Kenyan election official quits, saying re-run election will not be 'credible' Kenya’s top election official threw next week’s rerun of the country’s presidential election into doubt on Wednesday, saying that political intimidation and interference meant he could no longer guarantee the credibility of the vote. Hours after one of his colleagues resigned and fled the country saying she feared for her life, Wafula Chebukati, chairman of the electoral commission, also threatened to quit, deepening a political crisis that risks upending one of Africa’s most stable states. Next Thursday’s election marks Kenya’s second attempt in three months to choose a leader after the supreme court overturned President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in August, citing “irregularities and illegalities” in the transmission of results. But the ruling, unprecedented in Africa, has worsened rather than resolved Kenya’s political impasse. Mr Kenyatta’s challenger, Raila Odinga, withdrew from the rerun earlier this month after electoral officials he accused of rigging the first vote refused to resign. Mr Chebukati accused both the government and the opposition of resorting to tactics that, he said, threatened to pitch Kenya into a “worse situation” than the violent aftermath of an election in 2007 that claimed more than 1,300 lives. Kenya's opposition party leader, Raila Odinga, speaking at Chatham House in London on October 13 Credit:  REUTERS But Mr Odinga was swift to claim vindication after the chairman said his efforts to ensure a transparent election had been blocked by four commissioners who have been accused of acting at the behest of the president’s ruling party. “I’ve made several attempts to make critical changes but all my motions have been defeated by a majority of the commissioners,” Mr Chebukati said. “Under such conditions it is difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election.” “I would rather go out with my name intact and my head lifted high than be part of a process where personal interests dwarf the interests of the nation.” Mr Chebukati indicated he would carry out his threat to quit unless electoral staff accused of bungling August’s election stepped down, his fellow commissioners stopped serving “partisan interests” and President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga agreed to negotiate. A police officer prepares to fire a tear gas to disperse supporters of Raila Odinga in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, 16 October 2017 Credit:  EPA He also demanded an end to opposition protesters chasing away electoral staff trying to prepare polling stations. Were Mr Chebukati to resign, the election — which is constitutionally required to be held by Nov 1st — risks being postponed as the chairman of the commission alone has the power to declare the result.  Mr Chebukati’s decision to air his grievances publicly came after Roselyn Akombe, one of his six fellow commissioners, resigned and fled to New York, raised similar concerns and said she feared for her safety after receiving threats. A senior electoral manager with responsibility for the electronic integrity of the vote, was murdered nine days before the August election. “The commission in its current state can surely not guarantee a credible election on 26 October 2017,” she said in a statement. “I do not want to be party to such a mockery to electoral integrity.” Kenyan opposition lawmaker Caleb Amisi Luyai leans through of his car as tear gas billows out Credit: REUTERS In recent days, both President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga appeared to have made some concessions that raised hopes for a negotiated settlement to the crisis. But Mr Odinga has shown little sign of returning to the race. On Wednesday he called for mass protests on election day as part of a strategy to prevent voting taking place in his strongholds — a move that could lead to the poll being nullified again. As many as 70 people have died in election-related violence since August, the vast majority opposition protesters killed by the security forces.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines